Today has been another very busy day. I was up just after 6.00am after a good night’s sleep. Stu and Rebecca were off to Bukorwe while Tara had her malarone (anti – malaria tablet) ground up at the safari lodge. After breakfast of a banana and cereal bar I did my washing. There are very few washing machines in Uganda. I used two basins and some travelwash. I hung my clothes out on the veranda and prayed that no passing hippo would make off with them during the day.
When I arrived at Kafuro Primary School this morning Yowasi had watched BG’s video on how to play King Square and was anxious to learn how to play the game. I used cones to mark out the grid and played the game with staff first of all before gradually integrating the children. At the moment they are more concerned with keeping the ball in play and haven’t developed the aggressive tactics of Liss children. Today the sun was out properly for the first time so it got really hot. Fortunately I had my cap and high factor suncream, so I wasn’t burnt to a crisp.
After this it was playtime, so the children got out the sports equipment that I had brought from Liss. Larry the Leopard kept many of the younger and some of the older children entertained with a retelling of the 3 Little Pigs. It’s amazing how fairy tales travel so well all over the world. Once again Larry got lots of cheers and claps from the happy children at the end of the story. Larry wants to have a few words with his adoring public.
“Mr Stanley was useless. He forgot to use phrases like ‘not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin’ and when he tried to huff and puff and blow the house down, I thought he was going to collapse. It was embarrassing! It was up to me to save the situation and when I took over the storytelling the children were enthralled. It was no surprise when they mobbed me at the end. When I return to Liss I will be contacting the BBC and demanding they give me my own television programme!”
For the next part of the morning I went with Janet, the community ranger, who was showing the children how to play a board game based around the National Park. It helps the children to respect their environment and discourages them from poaching as well as learning facts about all of the animals. There’s a chance that I could get a copy to bring back to Liss. I will try to do this. After this half of the school watched the video that Class AS had made last year about Liss. The funniest thing was watching Yowasi translate it into the local language interspersed with English phrases such as Mr. Andy Burford or Mrs Heather Green. Any of you adults reading this blog who have watched the Julio Geordio sketch on The Fast Show will know what I mean.
Before lunchtime I met the school’s attached inspector, who was very friendly. He loved the laptop we have given the school and was very supportive of the Kafuro staff. Lunch today was more rice, a cabbage, carrot and onion salad and some matoke. This is green bananas which are cooked down to form a thick green paste. It does not taste very much like bananas, but is very nutritious.
I showed Yowasi the photos I had taken so far and he insisted on showing them to the rest of the staff. I have transferred them all onto his laptop. Yowasi also told me about the history of the school. It was founded about fifteen years ago by an Italian priest and most of the pupils are Catholic although some are Muslim. Prayers are a big part of their day. P7 are taking tests this week and I saw their RE paper, in which I’m confident I scored 100%. However, the social studies paper is all about Uganda and I wouldn’t have scored more than 10%.
In the headteacher’s office there is calendar with a picture of the Ugandan President. Yowasi found it hard to understand why we wouldn’t have a David Cameron calendar in Mr Burford’s office at Liss Junior. Having had to work so hard to get the vote Ugandans take their politics extremely seriously and their leaders are held in much higher esteem than our own.
Also during lunchtime I began to show Yowasi how to pass a rugby ball properly and then how to beat a defender in a two on one situation. A crowd of children gathered round and thought it was hilarious when we started chasing each other around.
In the afternoon I taught Maths and science. I showed the children in P7 how to play multiplication bingo and by the end of the lesson they were quite good at it. In science we set up the eggshell experiment that I have done with AS a couple of times to show how sugary drinks can damage your teeth. After this we talked about how the Earth orbits the Sun and the Moon orbits the earth. We did this through roleplay. Yowasi was the sun and I was the Earth. After spinning round 365 times I was quite dizzy!
Before going home I met the headteacher, Boaz, who had come back from a meeting that had kept him away for a couple of days. He was wearing a fantastic sports jacket and a brilliant black shirt with a red trim. I think Mr Burford is a little more conservative in his tastes! Boaz is a lovely guy and was very pleased to see all the resources I had brought from Liss. I gave him his present from Mr Burford, but he won’t open it until tomorrow as my camera battery final died and we wanted to capture the moment for posterity.
While Charles is away in Bukorwe with Stu and Rebecca, my driver has been Tadeo, a ranger with 22 years experience. He spots wildlife where mere mortals wouldn’t . Today he pointed out a mongoose, a bush hog, wind buck, a rhino and a family of elephants. I’m getting a bit blasé about elephants as I’ve seen so many, but I have to admit they are incredibly graceful animals. Tadeo tells me there is a lion who hangs out regularly around Hippo House, but I’ve yet to see him or hear him. He has also promised to bring me a cd of Ugandan music on Saturday, so I can dance badly to it.
On my way back to Hippo House this afternoon I stopped off at Katunguru Primary School where Tara has been and threw a rugby ball around with some of the children. The children are less shy than their Kafuro neighbours, quite possibly because they are close to a main road and in a less remote place. While I was there I also set up their mobile internet dongle which works really well. I have given mine to Yowasi for a night to see if he can get connected at home as he says the signal is quite good there.
Tara has also been working on finishing off the Twinning Agreement between the English and Ugandan schools that the Liss and Clanfield School councils have been working on.
We got back to the posh safari lodge at 6.20pm and had a coke while we uploaded blogs and photos, then had dinner at a hostel down the road. Tadeo joined us for a beer and showed us how to play a Ugandan board game similar to Backgammon. I played him and he let me win. Next he played the boss of the hostel and the game was played with such skill and dexterity that I couldn’t keep up.
When we got home we phoned Stu and Rebecca down in Bukorwe and discovered they’d had a really good day. All in all it’s been a very successful day for the Twinning Project.
Tomorrow is another busy day with my last full day at Kafuro. I will be taking class photos to bring back to Liss and distributing more letters. I’m also hoping to run some EIP all Stars events and some more TAG Rugby activities although there is little available space.
Thanks for reading. Until next time…..